Finland declared last Thursday that it will apply for NATO membership “without delay”, and Sweden is expected to follow, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine looks set to it will cause the very expansion of the Western military alliance that Vladimir Putin sought to prevent.
The decision of the two Nordic countries to abandon the neutrality they maintained during the Cold War would be one of the biggest changes in European security in decades. Moscow called Finland’s announcement a direct threat to Russia, and threatened retaliation, including unspecified “military-technical” measures.
Five diplomats and officials told Reuters that NATO allies hope that both countries will quickly receive accession, which would pave the way for a larger troop presence in the Nordic region to defend them during a one-year ratification period.
Moscow considers him a threat to its security. But Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine has changed Nordic public opinion, with political parties that had long supported neutrality now they embrace the view that Russia is a threat.
Asked if Finland’s accession posed a direct threat to Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Definitely. NATO expansion does not make our continent more stable and secure. “This cannot fail to arouse our regret, and it is a reason to respond symmetrically on our part,” Peskov added, without elaborating. Russian officials have spoken in the past of possible measures including stationing nuclear missiles in the Baltic Sea.
Thus, the expert Neil Winn, after analyzing for LA RAZÓN the historic decision of the Finnish authorities to join the Alliance, said that “Finland’s accession could encourage Moscow to deploy nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad”, although he stressed that “a risk more realistic is that of Russian cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns and occasional airspace violations.”
Estonian Undersecretary for Defense Policy Tuuli Duneton said her compatriots “would welcome our dear neighbors to NATO and of course are more than willing to continue our very good bilateral cooperation with those two.” countries in the NATO context as well.”
President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said after the joint statement that “Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay”. that they hope to follow “the national steps still necessary to make this decision are taken quickly in the coming days.”